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Tire Rotation: How Does it Help My Car?

Tire Rotation: How Does it Help My Car?

Tire Rotation: How Does it Help My Car?

Your tires provide the four small rubber patches connecting your car to the road. These four small patches of rubber are vital for the comfort of the occupants and for their safety. Tires are a critical component of your vehicle. They should be treated with respect and maintained with the same diligence as your engine or transmission.

Basic Tire Maintenance

Under-inflated tires mean a larger than intended patch of rubber on the road. This leads to higher levels of friction and overheating, which will damage the tread and, in extreme cases, lead to a blowout. Tires that are over-inflated have a smaller contact patch with the road. This gives a bumpy ride and can affect how your car handles. Check your tire pressures regularly.

Never drive with insufficient tread on your tires. The tread is vital for dispersing water when driving in wet conditions. The deeper the tread, the more water it can disperse, so if your tires have little or no tread, driving in wet conditions can be lethal. 

What is Meant by Tire Rotation?

Tire rotation is when the wheels of a vehicle are taken off and moved to a new position. Most tire manufacturers recommend this every 10,000 kilometres.

If you notice uneven wear, a change in the ride quality, or you’ve been doing a lot of different activities, such as heavy towing, it may mean that you need to rotate your tires before a service.

Why is it Important to Rotate the tires?

The front and back tires on a car wear at different rates. The front wheels will wear faster than the back for a few reasons:

  • The front wheels carry more than 60% of the weight of a car; consequently, the front tires will wear faster than the rear ones.
  • Most of the braking carried out by a vehicle happens on the front wheels, adding to the wear on these wheels.

Rotating the tires will even out the wear patterns, extending the life of the tires.

How Do You Rotate Tires?

The pattern to follow when rotating tires will depend on factors such as the drivetrain your car has, the type of tire, whether the tire is directional or not, whether there’s a full-size spare to include in the rotation, and whether the tires on the front and rear are the same size. We can, however, look at the most common patterns used.

Front Wheel Drive Cars 

Front Wheels: these will move directly backwards, so the left front will be fitted to the left rear, etc.

Rear Wheels: the rear wheels must be swapped so the right rear will be fitted to the left front and the left rear to the right front.

Rear Wheel Drive Cars

Front Wheels: The front wheels must be swapped around so the right front will fit to the left rear and the left front will fit to the right rear.

Rear Wheels: these will move directly forward.

All Wheel Drive Cars

In this pattern, the front and rear wheels are swapped diagonally. The right front swaps position with the left rear, and the left front swaps position with the right rear.

How Tire Rotation Helps Your Car

Tires are vital components for ride quality and safety. They’re subject to tremendous forces as the vehicle accelerates, brakes and corners, and they will inevitably wear. It’s also true that they don’t wear evenly, and this uneven wear can cause a bumpy ride and the early replacement of one or more of the tires. Pop in today to the workshop at Lincoln Township Motors for advice on tire maintenance and rotation.